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William Maley

Jaguar News: Jaguar Land Rover's Boss Attacks the Demonization of Diesel

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Ever since the Volkswagen diesel emission scandal broke, the fuel has been demonized by the media. governments, and even automakers. But someone is standing up for diesel.

Speaking with Autocar, Jaguar Land Rover boss Ralf Speth said the company would be ramping up efforts on promoting modern diesel vehicles. 

“The latest diesel technology is really such a step in emissions, performance, particulates; it’s better for the environment when compared to [an equivalent] petrol.  Diesel has to – needs to – have a future,” said Speth.

Speth tells the publication that the issue of diesel isn't just for the automotive industry, but the entire transport industry. Diesel is the primary fuel for commercial fleets such as buses and semi-trucks, which contribute more to the overall pollution problem. He said, "the complete automotive industry needs diesel to fulfill legislative requirements”.

Not helping matters is the public perception of diesel vehicles has taken a huge hit. Speth said some of this can be laid at the hands of the media as they have exacerbated certain misconceptions by combining images of old diesel vehicles with sooty black smoke coming out of the tailpipe with modern vehicles.

“Anyone can see the black smoke coming out of old diesels is bad. We need to replace them with newer ones.”

Speth also lays blame at Volkswagen for kicking off this current mess.

“This kind of manipulation software is not acceptable. Unfortunately, the whole automotive industry suffers, not just Volkswagen,” said Speth.

“Nobody believes the automotive industry anymore. They see us as offenders and not giving the right information. We have to show our technology is the best you can buy, to reduce the damage to health and the environment.”

Source: Autocar


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He does have a point.  The entire industry shouldn't suffer just because of one bad company.

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7 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

He does have a point.  The entire industry shouldn't suffer just because of one bad company.

Very true, but Speth is not adjusting for one thing: perception vs. reality.  The perception is wrong and out of date compared to reality, but few buy any car based in reality.  Most people start and end with perception, hence the non-purchase of an allegedly bad vehicle.

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Plus with China and the European Union demonizing it and pushing EV's and very clean standards, auto companies are going to have to adjust. Diesel has a use and purpose, but in most comon private auto's the day is coming to a close.

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There is a valid argument for clean diesels.  Mercedes just announced they are not selling diesel in the USA in 2017, which makes me think they won't ever again.  But a diesel GLC could get 35 mpg highway vs 27 or 28 for a gas version.  So that forces us to use more fuel.  Look at a Cruze diesel that can top 50 mpg compared to 40 for gas, a 20% difference.  Diesel is cheaper than premium fuel also. 

So the consumer gets hurt by forcing out diesels and we have to drill up more oil which isn't really environmentally friendly either.  And these companies will have a hard time hitting CAFE without diesel unles they have a ton of hybrids.

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